In the wake of the Aeroflot 1492 incident, airlines are now more strict and firm on following their flight attendant's safety instructions. A passenger on board Air New Zealand flight NZ424 was offloaded at Wellington for refusing to obey flight attendant's instructions to watch safety video and to read the safety instructions exit row card. She was seated at an exit row seat.
The woman passenger, who was described by others as "wealthy looking", deliberately ignored the flight attendant's instructions. The offloading delayed the whole flight as the captain decided to return back to the bay where airport police were waiting. The flight was bound for Auckland.
Despite being seated in the exit row, the passenger ignored the numerous attempts of the cabin crew to get her to listen and read the instructions on what to do during an emergency since she was seated in an emergency exit row. Her actions became a threat to the safety and security of other passengers, hence, the decision of the flight crew to offload.
One passenger told Stuff.co.nz: “The video started playing and the flight attendant held up the card, but the woman started looking down at her book.”
The witness said the woman, who was holding a Louis Vuitton bag, then picked up her phone while her male companion also continued to look at his device.
“A flight attendant said very patiently ‘Can you please watch what’s happening because this is the exit row?’,” the witness said. “The flight attendant was super kind and kept asking her, but the woman put her fingers in her ears.”
With the couple’s behaviour beginning to delay the plane, other passengers implored them to pay attention but they reportedly continued to refuse.
“They didn’t seem to care,” the witness said.
The pilot was eventually forced to return to the gate, Air New Zealand said, because a passenger “failed to comply with crew instructions”.
In the Philippines, similar incidents involving passengers seated on the exit row seats refusing to listen to the flight attendants instructions have been sprouting. Some would even reason out with an "I am a million miler, I know I know..." whenever the cabin crew would carry out their duties to instruct all passengers seated on the emergency exit rows on what to do.
It has been proven a number of times that refusing to obey and listen to flight attendant's safety instructions may lead to injuries and deaths.
Economy class passengers do their best to get the exit row seats due to the legroom but quite a number still fail to realize that with great legroom comes great responsibility as the lives of others are in their hands.
Philippine Republic Act No. 9497, Chapter XI Sec. 81 clause 9 states that “Any person who, while on board an aircraft, interferes with a crewmember’s or flight attendant’s performance of their duties, assaults, intimidates, or threatens any crewmember or flight attendant, shall be subjected to imprisonment from one (1) year to three (3) years or a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (Php50,000.00) but not exceeding Five hundred thousand pesos (Php500,000.00), or both, as determined by the court;”